John Pierce Blog

A musical conversation to which you are invited

By John Pierce Whenever I fill the pulpit of a church — near or far, large or small — it is not surprising to see another name listed in the order of worship: Stan Pethel. Lacking omnipresence, Stan is not in attendance everywhere his name appears. Yet choral music...

Sunrises and sunsets

By John Pierce Perhaps “glory” is an overused word — though not as much as “awesome.” Yet it conveys a sense of magnificence beyond measure or definition. Glory seems to have a spiritual dimension. It’s a biblical word. Hymn writers often use it — almost always...

Buddy check!

By John Pierce On a recent hot, humid day — and we’ve had weeks of them this summer — my daughter Abigail was chilling in the pool. Approaching, I called out: “BUDDY CHECK! BUDDY CHECK!” She gave me that familiar “my father has lost his mind” look. So I asked: “Have...

Remembering Rudy Hayes

By John Pierce Rudy Hayes died on Thursday, and he was part of a dying breed: small-town newspaper editors who built trust and wielded influence. He was editor of the Americus Times-Recorder in southwest Georgia for 40 years. The Waycross, Ga., native moved to...

Remembering James Dunn

By John Pierce Fresh out of seminary in the early ’80s, it didn’t take long for me to discover the highlight of attending the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting. It was simply listed in the extensive program as the Report from the Baptist Joint Committee on...

Nostalgic and critical

By John Pierce Dr. Bill Hoyt chaired the Religion and Philosophy Department at Berry College in the 1970s, when I was one of the few students on the world’s largest campus who chose such a major. It was a wonderful opportunity to benefit from a serious academic...

‘Courageous conversations’

By John Pierce Filmmaker Ken Burns, on a news show last week, called for a “courageous conversation” about race in light of the racially motivated murders of church members in Charleston, S.C. He referred to the legacy of the American Civil War that he captured so...